Chersotis cuprea

Kupfereule ( Chersotis cuprea )

The Kupfereule ( Chersotis cuprea ), also called Copper-colored - Erdeule or steppe heath backrest Bodeneule, is a butterfly (moth ) from the family of cutworms ( Noctuidae ).

  • 6.1 Notes and references
  • 6.2 Literature



The wingspan of the moth is about 32 to 40 millimeters ( 31 to 36 mm). The forewing color is coppery reddish brown. The midfield is much darker and stands out strikingly from root and Saumfeld from. Ring, pin and kidney blemishes are outlined in thin whitish. The inner transverse line is whitish, the outer wavy line indistinct and dark. The clear, dark brown subscribed, subterminal wavy line divides the Saumfeld in a darker inner region and a lighter outer area. The fringes are held in the base color. The hind wings are plain gray-brown back with a slight improvement to the root. The fringes are a little brighter. The underside of the forewing is dark gray-brown; slightly brighter are the undersides of the hind wing. The species has a large variability in color ( darkening to forms that have no color difference between basal, middle and Saumfeld more, but also a brightening up to a light brown color). The midfield may also be selectively darkened or lightened and stand out a little from the base color or almost black.

Egg, caterpillar, pupa

The oval egg is initially yellowish white, and gray before hatching. The caterpillar is colored gray-brown, gray-brown has side-lines and three bright ridge lines interspersed with dark bars. The doll has two short spines on the conical cremaster.

Geographical distribution and habitat

The Kupfereule in Europe has two mutually isolated distribution areas; the Pyrenees, Alps, the mountain range north of the Alps, Apennines, Carpathians, Dinarides to northern Greece and the Peloponnese, and the southern and central Fennoscandia, across Russia to the Urals. The distribution area extends further eastward across Siberia to Tibet, China and Japan. They therefore largely missing in the North German Plain. The distribution area is similar to the other boreo - montane - subalpine species.

The species is mainly found in warm, mountainous areas with calcareous soil, but occasionally it is also found on peaty soil. In the Alps, it is still to be found at altitudes of over 2000 meters.

Way of life

The Kupfereule is one generation per jar, whose moth fly from mid-July to mid-September. They are predominantly diurnal and visit flowers. They come occasionally to artificial light sources. The females lay the eggs often in the dead flower heads of thistles ( Cirsium ) or other daisy family (Asteraceae). The caterpillars live in October of blueberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus ) and other low plants. Keep yourself hidden in the day, eat mostly at night. They overwinter and pupate mainly in June of the following year.


The species is in many northern areas of very rare or absent in Germany and is on the Red List of endangered species in category 3 ( endangered) out. In Baden- Württemberg it is near threatened, in Bavaria it is one of the species with a geographical restriction.


The Kufereule was described in 1775 by Michael Denis Johann Ignaz and Schiffermueller as Noctua cuprea first time. The type locality is the area around Vienna ( "Vienna area "). Hackers and Varga subdivide the type into three subspecies:

  • Chersotis cuprea cuprea ( Denis & Schiffer Müller, 1775) ( Nominatunterart ), in the largest part of the range
  • Chersotis cuprea schaeferi Boursin, 1954, Tibet
  • Chersotis cuprea japonica ( Warnecke, 1940), Japan

Chersotis cuprea schaeferi Boursin, 1954 differs from the Nominatunterart by smaller wingspan (29 mm), the almost black darkening of the disc of the fore wing. The flaws are small and indistinct trained. In contrast, the front wing base, the costal margin and the range of terms is slightly lighter. Chersotis cuprea japonica ( Warnecke, 1940) is. Carried a light gray to brownish ground color and a dark brown central area of ​​the forewing In contrast, Kostal edge and kidney and ring stain in the color are kept. The flaws are outlined in brighter, the ante medial transverse line is gerandet to midfield towards dark.

A dark color variation of the Alpine foothills of the Swabian and Franconian Jura and the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula was as subspec. or referred to as var palustris Osthelder, 1927. Habit and lack of geographical delineation and frequent mixed populations prompted hackers and provide Varga this form again to Nominatunterart. For the same reason, the populations with lighter color of the Southern Alps, the Apennines, Greece and Turkey, which were formerly known as subspecies Chersotis cuprea pertexta Draudt, 1936, also moved back to Nominatunterart. Also for the originally described as forma Chersotis cuprea f livescens Corti & Draudt, 1933 could be found no criteria that would justify a separation as a subspecies.